324.042 Administration.–The department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter, and has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement them.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-147; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 20, ch. 78-95; s. 61, ch. 85-180; s. 3, ch. 86-18; s. 65, ch. 98-200.
Note.–Former s. 324.03.
324.051 Reports of crashes; suspensions of licenses and registrations.—
(1)(a) Every law enforcement officer who, in the regular course of duty either at the time of and at the scene of the crash or thereafter by interviewing participants or witnesses, investigates a motor vehicle crash which he or she is required to report pursuant to s. 316.066(3) shall forward a written report of the crash to the department within 10 days of completing the investigation. However, when the investigation of a crash will take more than 10 days to complete, a preliminary copy of the crash report shall be forwarded to the department within 10 days of the occurrence of the crash, to be followed by a final report within 10 days after completion of the investigation. The report shall be on a form and contain information consistent with the requirements of s. 316.068.
(b) The department is hereby further authorized to require reports of crashes from individual owners or operators whenever it deems it necessary for the proper administration of this chapter, and these reports shall be made without prejudice except as specified in this subsection. No such report shall be used as evidence in any trial arising out of a crash. However, subject to the applicable rules of evidence, a law enforcement officer at a criminal trial may testify as to any statement made to the officer by the person involved in the accident if that person’s privilege against self-incrimination is not violated.
(2)(a) Thirty days after receipt of notice of any accident described in paragraph (1)(a) involving a motor vehicle within this state, the department shall suspend, after due notice and opportunity to be heard, the license of each operator and all registrations of the owner of the vehicles operated by such operator whether or not involved in such crash and, in the case of a nonresident owner or operator, shall suspend such nonresident’s operating privilege in this state, unless such operator or owner shall, prior to the expiration of such 30 days, be found by the department to be exempt from the operation of this chapter, based upon evidence satisfactory to the department that:
1. The motor vehicle was legally parked at the time of such crash.
2. The motor vehicle was owned by the United States Government, this state, or any political subdivision of this state or any municipality therein.
3. Such operator or owner has secured a duly acknowledged written agreement providing for release from liability by all parties injured as the result of said crash and has complied with one of the provisions of s. 324.031.
4. Such operator or owner has deposited with the department security to conform with s. 324.061 when applicable and has complied with one of the provisions of s. 324.031.
5. One year has elapsed since such owner or operator was suspended pursuant to subsection (3), the owner or operator has complied with one of the provisions of s. 324.031, and no bill of complaint of which the department has notice has been filed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) This subsection shall not apply:
1. To such operator or owner if such operator or owner had in effect at the time of such crash or traffic conviction an automobile liability policy with respect to all of the registered motor vehicles owned by such operator or owner.
2. To such operator, if not the owner of such motor vehicle, if there was in effect at the time of such crash or traffic conviction an automobile liability policy or bond with respect to his or her operation of motor vehicles not owned by him or her.
3. To such operator or owner if the liability of such operator or owner for damages resulting from such crash is, in the judgment of the department, covered by any other form of liability insurance or bond.
4. To any person who has obtained from the department a certificate of self-insurance, in accordance with s. 324.171, or to any person operating a motor vehicle for such self-insurer.
No such policy or bond shall be effective under this subsection unless it contains limits of not less than those specified in s. 324.021(7).
(3) Any driver’s license or registration certificate or certificates and registration plates which are suspended as provided for in this section shall remain suspended for a period of 3 years unless reinstated as otherwise provided in this chapter.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 2, ch. 57-147; ss. 1, 2, ch. 65-122; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 13, 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 71-59; s. 2, ch. 76-266; s. 2, ch. 77-118; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 7, ch. 77-468; s. 1, ch. 78-83; s. 20, ch. 78-95; s. 2, ch. 83-22; s. 10, ch. 85-81; s. 3, ch. 89-271; s. 54, ch. 89-282; s. 28, ch. 90-119; s. 15, ch. 91-255; s. 90, ch. 94-306; s. 946, ch. 95-148; s. 303, ch. 99-248; s. 2, ch. 2006-260.
Note.–Former s. 324.04.
324.061 Security deposited with Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; release.—
(1) Security deposited pursuant to the provisions of s. 324.051(2)(a)4. with respect to claims for injuries to persons or properties resulting from a crash occurring prior to such deposit shall be in the form and amount determined by the department which, in its judgment, will be sufficient to compensate for all injuries arising out of such crash, but in no case shall the amount exceed the limits as specified in s. 324.021(7).
(2) Such security shall be deposited with the department and shall not be released except under one of the following conditions:
(a) A duly attested written statement of satisfaction by all parties shown to be injured in such crash has been received by the department.
(b) In the event the depositor has been finally adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction not to be liable; or all judgments of liability against the depositor have been satisfied.
(c) One year shall have elapsed after deposit and during such period the department has not been duly notified of any court action brought for damages.
(d) Upon receipt of an order from a court ordering that such deposit be paid to satisfy a recorded judgment, in whole or in part, resulting from a crash. If the department does not have sufficient funds on deposit to satisfy such judgment it shall forthwith call upon the judgment debtor for the balance, subject to the limits specified in s. 324.021(7). Upon failure of the judgment debtor to make the necessary deposit or to satisfy the judgment in full, the department shall revoke the driving privilege and all registrations of such judgment debtor within 10 days subsequent to notification to the judgment debtor by the department.
(e) In any case in which securities deposited under this section have remained unclaimed for 5 years or more such deposit shall be transferred by the department to the State School Fund, and all interest and income that may accrue from said deposits after the aforesaid period of time, shall belong to said fund.
(3) The department shall invest security deposits in its custody received under this section in excess of current needs in interest-bearing accounts. The interest earned from such investments shall be deposited in a department trust fund, and any security deposits remaining unclaimed after 5 years shall be transferred to the State School Fund as provided in paragraph (2)(e) above.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 3, ch. 57-147; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 71-59; s. 3, ch. 77-118; s. 8, ch. 77-468; s. 69, ch. 79-164; s. 34, ch. 95-143; s. 304, ch. 99-248.
Note.–Former s. 324.041.
324.071 Reinstatement; renewal of license; reinstatement fee.–Any operator or owner whose license or registration has been suspended pursuant to s. 324.051(2), s. 324.072, s. 324.081, or s. 324.121 may effect its reinstatement upon compliance with the provisions of s. 324.051(2)(a)3. or 4., or s. 324.081(2) and (3), as the case may be, and with one of the provisions of s. 324.031 and upon payment to the department of a nonrefundable reinstatement fee of $15. Only one such fee shall be paid by any one person irrespective of the number of licenses and registrations to be then reinstated or issued to such person. All such fees shall be deposited to a department trust fund. When the reinstatement of any license or registration is effected by compliance with s. 324.051(2)(a)3. or 4., the department shall not renew the license or registration within a period of 3 years from such reinstatement, nor shall any other license or registration be issued in the name of such person, unless the operator is continuing to comply with one of the provisions of s. 324.031.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 4, ch. 57-147; s. 6, ch. 65-190; s. 1, ch. 67-279; ss. 13, 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 71-59; s. 4, ch. 77-118; s. 9, ch. 77-468; s. 70, ch. 79-164; s. 35, ch. 95-143.
Note.–Former s. 324.05.
324.072 Proof required upon certain convictions.—
(1) Upon the suspension or revocation of a license pursuant to the provisions of s. 322.26 or s. 322.27, the department shall suspend the registration for all motor vehicles registered in the name of such person, either individually or jointly with another, except that it shall not suspend such registration, unless otherwise required by law, if such person has previously given or shall immediately give, and thereafter maintain, proof of financial responsibility with respect to all motor vehicles registered by such person, in accordance with this chapter.
(2) Such license and registration shall remain suspended or revoked and shall not at any time thereafter be renewed, nor shall any license be thereafter issued to such person, nor shall any motor vehicle be thereafter registered in the name of such person, until permitted under the laws of this state, and not then unless and until he or she shall give and thereafter maintain proof of financial responsibility as required by s. 324.071.
History.–s. 5, ch. 57-147; ss. 13, 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 77-118; s. 10, ch. 77-468; s. 2, ch. 78-83; s. 1, ch. 79-207; s. 434, ch. 95-148.
324.081 Nonresident owner or operator.—
(1) The department may establish reciprocal agreements with any other states for the purpose of fulfilling the provisions of this chapter and pursuant to such agreements may suspend the license and registration of a resident of this state involved in a crash in another state.
(2) When a nonresident’s operating privilege is suspended pursuant to this chapter, the department shall transmit a certified copy of the record of such action to the appropriate official of the reciprocating state in which such nonresident resides, if the law of such other state provides for action in relation thereto similar to that provided for in subsection (3).
(3) Upon receipt of such certification that the operating privilege of a resident of this state has been suspended or revoked in any such other reciprocating state pursuant to a law providing for its suspension or revocation for failure to deposit security for the payment of judgments arising out of a motor vehicle crash, under circumstances which would require the department to suspend a nonresident’s operating privilege had the crash occurred in this state, the department shall suspend the license of such resident if he or she was the operator, and all of his or her registrations if he or she was the owner of a motor vehicle involved in such crash. Such suspension shall continue until such resident furnishes evidence of his or her compliance with the law of such other state relating to the deposit of such security.
(4) In the event such nonresident shall at the time have in effect an insurance policy or surety bond issued by any insurance company or surety company not authorized to do business in this state, the department may reinstate such nonresident upon said company furnishing it with power of attorney to accept service of process.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 6, ch. 57-147; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 77-118; s. 11, ch. 77-468; s. 435, ch. 95-148; s. 305, ch. 99-248.
Note.–Former s. 324.06.
324.091 Notice to department; notice to insurer.—
(1) Each owner and operator involved in a crash or conviction case within the purview of this chapter shall furnish evidence of automobile liability insurance, motor vehicle liability insurance, or surety bond within 30 days from the date of the mailing of notice of crash by the department in such form and manner as it may designate. Upon receipt of evidence that an automobile liability policy, motor vehicle liability policy, or surety bond was in effect at the time of the crash or conviction case, the department shall forward by United States mail, postage prepaid, to the insurer or surety insurer a copy of such information and shall assume that such policy or bond was in effect unless the insurer or surety insurer shall notify the department otherwise within 20 days from the mailing of the notice to the insurer or surety insurer; provided that if the department shall later ascertain that an automobile liability policy, motor vehicle liability policy, or surety bond was not in effect and did not provide coverage for both the owner and the operator, it shall at such time take such action as it is otherwise authorized to do under this chapter. Proof of mailing to the insurer or surety insurer may be made by the department by naming the insurer or surety insurer to whom such mailing was made and specifying the time, place and manner of mailing.
(2) Each insurer doing business in this state shall immediately give notice to the department of each motor vehicle liability policy when issued to effect the return of a license which has been suspended under s. 324.051(2); and said notice shall be upon such form and in such manner as the department may designate.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 3, ch. 65-122; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 306, ch. 99-248.
Note.–Former s. 324.08.
324.101 Compliance before license or registration allowed.–In case the operator or owner of a motor vehicle involved in a crash within the state has no license or registration, he or she shall not be allowed a license or registration until he or she has complied with the requirements of this chapter to the same extent that would be necessary, if at the time of the crash he or she had held a license and registration.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 436, ch. 95-148; s. 307, ch. 99-248.
Note.–Former s. 324.09.
324.111 Failure to satisfy judgment; copy to department.–Whenever any person fails within 30 days to satisfy any judgment, upon the written request of the judgment creditor or his or her attorney it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court, or of the judge of a court which has no clerk, in which any such judgment is rendered within this state, to forward to the department immediately after the expiration of said 30 days, a certified copy of such judgment.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 71-59; s. 437, ch. 95-148.
324.121 Suspension of license and registration.—
(1) The department, upon the receipt of a certified copy of a judgment, as provided in s. 324.111, shall forthwith suspend the license and registration and any nonresident’s operating privilege of any person against whom such judgment was rendered, except as hereinafter otherwise provided in this section, and in s. 324.141.
(2)(a) If the judgment creditor consents in writing, in such form as the department may prescribe, that the judgment debtor be allowed license and registration or nonresident’s operating privilege, the same may be allowed by the department, in its discretion, for 6 months from the date of such consent and thereafter until such consent is revoked in writing notwithstanding default in the payment of such judgment, or any installments thereof prescribed in s. 324.141, provided the judgment debtor furnished proof of financial responsibility as provided in s. 324.031, such proof to be maintained for 3 years.
(b) If the department determines that an insurer was obligated to pay the judgment but failed to do so through no fault of the judgment debtor, the judgment debtor’s license and registration and any nonresident’s operating privilege shall not be suspended.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 71-59; s. 29, ch. 90-119.
324.131 Period of suspension.–Such license, registration and nonresident’s operating privilege shall remain so suspended and shall not be renewed, nor shall any such license or registration be thereafter issued in the name of such person, including any such person not previously licensed, unless and until every such judgment is stayed, satisfied in full or to the extent of the limits stated in s. 324.021(7) and until the said person gives proof of financial responsibility as provided in s. 324.031, such proof to be maintained for 3 years. In addition, if the person’s license or registration has been suspended or revoked due to a violation of s. 316.193 or pursuant to s. 322.26(2), that person shall maintain noncancelable liability coverage for each motor vehicle registered in his or her name, as described in s. 627.7275(2), and must present proof that coverage is in force on a form adopted by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, such proof to be maintained for 3 years.
History.–s. 1, ch. 29963, 1955; s. 2, ch. 2005-72.